Pondering the reaction of humans towards evil

We tend to name things. My car has a name. My computers have names. My iPod and my desk chair have names.

I’ve observed that this is a fairly common phenomenon amongst the middle class.

So why, in the middle-class, middle-of-the-road churches, do we hesitate and equivocate instead of naming things straight up Evil?



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3 responses to “Pondering the reaction of humans towards evil

  1. Excellent question. Please let me know when you find the answer….

  2. I wonder if it has something to do with fearing to be seen as judgemental or arrogant? Fearing to be seen as “laying down the law,” or telling people what to think? If you tell someone “what you are doing is evil,” or “what you are doing is a sin,” you are imposing a moral judgement on them, and people have been brought up not to judge.

  3. Michael Mikowski

    This is a question that can be answered on many levels.

    1. Middle-class Americans are keenly aware of their propensity towards violence and (button-pushers excepted) try to do their best *not* to set others off on a path that will lead nowhere good.

    2. On a geek level, you give insufficient data. What are you referring to as evil? There are plenty of xians in the world (even more if you go back more than 100 years) who think that those who “worship idols” are evil despite their complete ignorance of the morality of those “idol worshippers.” The bourgeoisie does not want to be thought provincial.

    3. To take your question to a ramped-up level, I suggest you read Sam Harris’ “The End of Faith,” not a religion-friendly volume. However, the main thrust of Harris’ argument is your question. He proposes that the “why can’t we just get along” mentality of middle-of-the-road religion is responsible for the inability of the American public to engage in this debate. If you declare, a priori, that calling someone evil is beyond the pale, then you have limited the scope of argument almost into puerility.

    I’d love to hear what prompted your question.